Former national team captain’s tenure to last for three years
Pakistan on Wednesday appointed former captain Misbah-ul-Haq as head coach and chief selector in a bid to lift the national team’s performance.
The cricket-mad nation failed to reach the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup in July, prompting the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to refuse a renewal of head coach Mickey Arthur’s tenure. Bowling coach Azhar Mahmood and batting coach Grant Flower were also shown the door.
The PCB said Misbah would be head coach for three years. “Former captain Misbah is confirmed as Pakistan men’s national team head coach in all three formats on a three-year contract,” said a statement. “In line with the PCB’s commitment to ensure transparency, accountability and role clarity at all levels, Misbah was also named as the chairman of selectors with head coaches of the six first-class cricket association sides as his fellow selectors.”
Misbah will be Pakistan’s 30th head coach—but it is the first time that the head coach will also be the chief selector, along the lines of the system in New Zealand.
Another former captain, legendary paceman Waqar Younis, was named as bowling coach for three years. He had two previous stints as head coach.
A five-man PCB committee also interviewed former Australian batsman Dean Jones and former Pakistan coach Mohsin Khan before deciding unanimously in Misbah’s favor. Misbah and Younis will start with three one-day internationals and three Twenty20s at home against Sri Lanka from Sept. 27 to Oct. 9.
Pakistan travel to Australia in November for Tests in Brisbane and Adelaide.
Misbah is Pakistan’s most successful Test captain with 26 wins in 56 Tests and 11 draws. He played 75 Tests, 162 one-day internationals and 39 Twenty20 matches for Pakistan in a career, which ended in 2017.
Misbah described the role as challenging. “I know expectations are high, but I am absolutely ready and up for the task otherwise I would not have thrown my name in the hat for one of the most challenging and coveted roles in Pakistan cricket,” he said in a press release. “We have some of the most talented and exciting cricketers, and I will like to help them train and prepare in such a way that they can play intelligently, smartly and fearlessly. I am aware this will require a change in the dressing room culture but if we have to compete consistently at the highest level, we have to embrace these modern day requirements.”
Pakistan are seventh in Test rankings, sixth in ODIs but are top ranked in Twenty20s.